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Armed IRS agents raid Montana gun shop, seize gun purchase records

Examples of some semi-automatic rifles. (John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune/TNS)
June 19, 2023

Armed IRS agents seized dozens of boxes of ATF form 4473s from Highwood Creek Outfitters in Great Falls, Montana, last Wednesday, prompting concern and criticism from both Montana officials and gun owners.

Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen told Breitbart News that the IRS seizure of gun owner documents is “extremely concerning” because it appears to “exceed” the search warrant that was issued, which “limited the scope of the search to financial records.”

“These aren’t financial records, they’re records of lawful firearm purchases,” he said. “What the hell does the IRS need with 4473s? We know the ATF in Washington, DC is trying to scoop up as many of these purchase records as possible, and that’s what it looks like they’re trying to do here.”

ATF form 4473’s include each gun purchaser’s name, gender, date of birth, address, location of birth, social security number and the serial number of each gun purchased at the store.

Tom Van Hoose, owner of Highwood Creek Outfitters, said, “At 7:30, I came in and they pulled in behind me with 20 heavily armed agents.”

Hoose explained that the search lasted from before the store opened until 30 minutes before the store’s closing time.

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“I can only assume that it’s because of the style of weapons that we have and the press that’s so against them,” he said. “The current administration seems to be hell-bent on getting those guns out of the hands of average Americans.”

Knudsen told Breitbart News that there is a “clear and disturbing pattern” of the Biden administration deploying federal agents to “harass” gun shops, gun manufacturers, and gun owners in the United States.

In response to the raid on the Montana gun shop, Gun Owners of America issued a statement concerning the event.

“This was an incredibly alarming incident to hear about – especially given the checkered past of the IRS targeting conservatives – and Congressman Matt Rosendale of Montana deserves credit for helping to bring the details about this raid to light,” said Erich Pratt, vice president of Gun Owners of America. This continued weaponization by the Biden Administration of federal agencies to go after their political opponents once again underscores the dire need for Congress to act, including by defunding the ATF and demanding answers from the IRS.”